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NCC urged to ease sanctions on telecoms firm

19 February 2014, 16:02

Lagos - Telecommunications subscribers have recommended mild sanctions against mobile network firms over alleged poor quality service.

The National Association of Telecommunication Subscribers’ (NATCOMS’) recommendation follows threats by the Nigeria Communication Commission, NCC to impose heavy monetary sanctions on telecoms companies that continue to provide such services to subscribers.

In a telephone interview from in Lagos, President of NATCOM, Deolu Ogunbanjo, said that while sanctions would spur operators to improve services, such action must be moderate so as not to cripple telecoms companies’ business and expansion efforts.

Ogunbanjo said that as the alternative, NCC could order direct compensation to subscribers.

He said that NCC could fix the charges to be paid as compensation but should not to collect the money on behalf of subscribers.

“It is the subscribers that are suffering the poor service issue so we see no reason why NCC should be imposing and collecting heavy fines from the operators on behalf of subscribers. Ultimately the subscriber gets no compensation for the poor services that the continually suffer,” he said.

He added, “What we are saying is, “hard fines? No. Soft fines? Yes. We are not saying defaulting operators should not be fined, but it should be done moderately. What we advocate is that NCC should rather mandate the operators to compensate subscribers through airtime and data monthly or quarterly to make up for the poor services rendered.”

Ogunbanjo said that NCC could also stop the telecoms firms from registering new subscribers until services improved.

“Another solution is to ask them to stop selling their SIM cards again until their services improve. I believe this is another punitive measure that will make the telecoms firms improve,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said NATCOM was still pursuing the suit it filed against telecoms operators seeking monetary compensation for all subscribers over alleged poor telecoms services.

NATCOM in 2012 filed a class action suit against the major telecoms companies. The organisation is demanding N5 000 direct compensation for the country’s more than 100 million subscribers.

– CAJ News

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